Yum. It’s Sunday and I just ate a delicious egg sandwich, but just typing that title already has my mouth watering from the mere thought of yesterday morning. My love affair with breakfast on the weekends is all encompassing, but it’s hard to dispute that Saturday was made for pancakes. Pancakes scream, “It’s the weekend! Eat me in your pajamas and then go do something FUN! I’m practically dessert…for breakfast!”.
I remember not caring much for pancakes as a child (I know, I was clearly disturbed). I’m not sure what my problem was, but I do know that one fine day in graduate school, I got a craving for whole wheat banana pancakes, which in turn led to me eating them for dinner every night for a month and never looking back. You can do things like that when you are in school. You can also do things like that when you don’t have a meat loving husband who also must be fed nightly. Robert used to play tennis on Tuesday evenings and then go out for wings with the guys afterwards. What did I do with the night off from cooking? If you guessed ate pancakes for dinner and watched trash television you would be 100% correct. Breakfast for dinner and reality television will always hold a special place in my heart.
Over the years my love for whole wheat pancakes has evolved into a mission to turn pancakes into a still delicious, much healthier version of themselves. This has led to me experimenting with all sorts of non-traditional pancake ingredients like cottage cheese, applesauce and even spinach. The great thing about pancakes is that they are pretty hard to screw up. You can mix a lot of weird (read: healthy) things into your batter and they will still taste pretty great…and in the event that they don’t there is this wonderful thing called maple syrup that can save almost any bad pancake.
My most recent foray into griddled breakfast territory has been quinoa flour. I went on a savory quinoa dish bender a while back and then got suddenly very sick of it. I went from quinoa lover to quinoa hater and was left with an expensive bag of it sitting forlornly in my pantry. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, but the thought of eating it again in the near future made me gag. Then one day, while perusing food blogs I came across a recipe for quinoa energy bars. Not only were they sweet rather than savory, but they used uncooked quinoa. These were the opposite of everything that caused me to tire of quinoa the first go round, so I decided to give them a go. They were scrumptious, and filling and made me totally retract my hatred of quinoa. Thank you quinoa energy bars.
Soon after the reinstatement of my love affair with quinoa, I started noticing quinoa flour in the grocery stores. As with most new to me (and expensive) ingredients, I wondered if I could make my own? A little googling told me that with the aid of a skillet and a food processor, I could. So,I used this recipe, toasted my quinoa and ground away. When I removed the lid of my food processor I was disappointed to see that my experiment was only semi-successful. Half the quinoa was ground into a flour, the other half still seemed intact. I whirred some more only to find a bit more flour but still a lot of tiny whole grains. Hmmm. I thought about continuing to process the quinoa but ultimately decided I was tired of the process and would attempt to use the “flour” as is. Best. Decision. Ever. I made my first batch of quinoa pancakes that weekend and they were divine. They had a great pillowy texture but the whole pieces of quinoa added the most delightful, slightly chewy crunch. Chewy, crunchy pancakes sound kind of disgusting but just trust that my descriptive skills need work and they are DELICIOUS. The texture almost reminds me of a cornmeal pancake, only better.
Now on to the bananas. I LOVE bananas. They are so yummy, so healthy and have got to be the most versatile fruit in the world. I’ve used them to make every baked good under the sun, blended in smoothies, turned into ice cream and I even made a plantain lasagna once that was one of the few dishes to get a thumbs down from Robert (can’t win ‘em all). I love maple syrup as much as the next girl, but sometimes I want a different, less sweet pancake topping. Enter sautéed bananas. If you’ve ever had and loved bananas foster, this is similar, only much easier and probably a lot better for you. Not only is it yummy but it makes for a pancake topping that looks so much fancier than it actually is. Give it a try and impress your family, or impress yourself as you eat pancakes for dinner in front of the Real Housewives. No judgment here
Quinoa Flour Pancakes
1 Ripe Banana
1/2 Cup of Quinoa Flour
1/2 Cup of Milk of your choice (I used skim)
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and grease slightly with butter or coconut oil.
2. Blend all ingredients (I have only ever used a blender for these pancakes, I’m not sure they would do as well mixed by hand).
3. Pour batter onto griddle by the 1/4 cup full and flip when bubbles appear. Brown on both sides and serve hot (Makes approximately 8 3-inch pancakes).
Cinnamon Sautéed Bananas
1 Ripe Banana, sliced
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Spray with coconut oil and add sliced bananas.
2. Sprinkle bananas with sugar and cinnamon, cook for 2-4 minutes, flipping the slices gently once or twice. Once banana slices are slightly browned and caramelized, they are done. Top pancakes immediately.